First impressions don’t have second chances. As people drive up to your house for the first time, they’ll first notice your home’s exterior. If the interior is exquisite, but the exterior is an eyesore, visitors will have a lackluster impression; this is why siding is crucial.
If your home’s siding is falling apart, it’s time for a replacement. Luckily, there are a lot of siding materials to choose from based on reliability, environmental responsibility, ongoing maintenance, and cost. But it’s these options that make picking the best siding a challenging process.
Below is everything you need to know about siding options to make an informed decision.
Different materials are used in the exterior and interior of different commercial and residential projects. For instance, glass windows are commonly used on entire walls while wood and steel are used for framing, and brick is popular for landscaping and outdoor spaces.
How the Different Siding Materials Are Made
Quality wood siding is made from redwood or cedar because these tree species have superior decay resistance. It’s treated and painted with oil or stain and is available in vertical and horizontal profiles. They are available for shingles and shakes.
Vinyl is constructed from PVC, a plastic resin. It became a popular siding material in America in the 60s after plastics containing CFCs and PCBs were banned.
This is an example of metal siding that combines carbon and iron. the steel can be galvanized or stainless depending on the brand and contractor. Stainless steel features protective chromium mixed into the steel, while galvanized steel has a zinc coating.
Usually, steel siding is constructed from recycled steel.
With bricks, you got two options, brick veneer, and solid brick. The solid brick is constructed from shale and clay and provides excellent structural support. It has two brick layers or a layer of brick and another concrete layer.
On the other hand, brick veneer depends on the house for reinforcement and gets structural support from other materials, including wooden or steel frames. After the frame is installed, the brick veneer is installed.
Regardless of the option chosen, you’ll need stacks to hold the bricks in place.
Stucco is constructed from building sand, water, lime, and cement. A layer of galvanized metal screening and waterproof barrier paper is added to the wooden walls to provide protection and act as a good base during installation.
Fiber cement siding is made from cellulose fiber, sand, Portland cement, and silica. This results in a strong and dense material that can be molded into planks, panels, or shingles. Fiber cement siding can be designed to mimic wood siding and is available in various shapes, colors, styles, and sizes.
Advantages of Different Materials
Wood is simple to stain or paint to suit the house’s design and aesthetic. Its also eco-conscious since its a bio-degradable, energy-efficient, and renewable resource. Moreover, wood is easier to repair than other materials upon the damage.
It’s one of the cheapest siding materials. Unlike wood, vinyl installation is easy, quick, and undemanding, which helps reduce labor costs. It’s available in a range of textures, colors, and designs and is low maintenance.
Steel siding is fire and damage resistant, has low maintenance, has great aesthetics, and is sustainable.
When steel siding is installed properly, it’ll need little attention. It doesn’t absorb moisture or support mold and mildew growth, and it holds its own against insects. And since steel is strong and thick, it’s resistant to fire, flying debris, and hail.
It’s available in a range of textures and patterns. And since steel is recyclable, it doesn’t go to landfills when you remove it.
Brick siding keeps its color for longer and has low maintenance. Unlike wood or vinyl, brick doesn’t dent, rot, or require painting after installation. When you feel it’s time to change, you can reuse the bricks on landscaping projects.
Bricks aren’t combustible, so they don’t help spread fires. Instead, they help in containing fires in different parts of the house. Aside from this, it protects from storms as it can withstand strong winds and the impact of flying objects.
Installing an inch of stucco coating provides your home with a 1-hour firewall rating. This means that it’ll hold the spread of fire through a wall for an hour. Because of this, it’s often used in areas where houses are close to each other.
Stucco comes in a range of hues perfect for different styles.
Fiber cement is durable and resistant to moisture damage, insect activity, fire, and impact. It’s bought in a range of shapes, making it easily fit into contemporary and traditional architectural styles.
It is also available in a range of colors. Quality fiber cement finish resists chipping or peeling for 10-plus years. After proper installation, fiber cement is low maintenance.
Disadvantages of Materials
Wood is by far one of the most expensive siding options. While the initial upfront cost is cheaper than most, maintenance can be costly. It often needs re-staining and repainting annually, depending on the climate. It also needs regular inspections to check on potential water and insect damage. If the damages aren’t addressed, the house is open to potential damage.
Although vinyl is durable, it’s susceptible to hail, snowblower, or lawnmower cracks. Strong winds can remove the vinyl siding. When this happens, you’ll have to replace entire vinyl rows instead of patching.
In neighborhoods where homes are closer together, there are reports of siding melting from the sun’s reflection from the neighboring windows. This damage isn’t easily repaired or patched.
Although steel is durable, it can still dent or scratch. For homes close to the sea or ocean or areas experiencing frequent fogs, steel can rust.
Steel siding is more expensive than most sidings and heavier, making it harder to install. However, the upfront costs almost balance out with durability.
Since metal siding doesn’t provide adequate insulation, you’ll have to install insulating material underneath the siding, a process that inflates your project’s costs.
Although brick is versatile in color, the options are limited compared to fiber cement and stucco siding. And while you can paint your bricks, it’s a long and frustrating process.
Also, while bricks are durable, the mortar attaching to the wall wears out when not installed well.
Stucco installed on structures with solid foundations can develop cracks over time. Although tiny structures don’t affect the wall’s integrity and are easily repaired, large cracks spell doom.
Stucco siding is installed in several layers making the installation process time-consuming and costly. Also, you have to wait for perfect weather before installation.
Fiber cement is heavy, so the installation needs an extra hand. Since it contains silica, it’s best handled by a professional. Lastly, it’s more expensive than vinyl and wood, but in the long run, it’s cost-efficient.
Different siding materials have their fair share of pros and cons. To get the best material, you should define your needs and, with professional help, pick a material that best meets those needs. If you have questions please fill out the form below and Advanced Consulting will help you with every step of the process!